• Energy solutions How energy efficiency helps Vermont businesses run more profitably
    By Paul Lambert and Dan Mellinger | June 25,2013
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    My sister and I run a small business that’s doing fairly well, but our energy bills are eating up our profits. I’ve looked over your Web site and can see there are a number of ways to save energy. The trouble is, we don’t know where to start, and we can’t afford to do the wrong thing. Can you help?

    — BG, Washington County

    Paul: Happy to. We offer a wide range of services to cut business energy costs, and if you don’t have a specific project in mind it might be a lot to sift through. Give us a call at 1.888.921.5990, and a customer-support specialist will be assigned to assist you. First, they’ll ask a bit about your business and help you prioritize energy upgrades based on your specific needs and budget; then, they’ll get you started on next steps.

    Dan: If your next steps include an equipment purchase, then we’ll help you determine the most efficient piece of equipment for your needs, and point you toward a local supplier or vendor. If your upgrade includes hiring a contractor, we’ll help you find a qualified professional close to you, and we’ll even review their quote or proposal, so you can feel confident moving forward.

    Paul: Our work involves producing a cash-flow analysis, so you know what kind of return to expect going forward. Efficiency Vermont references your specific utility and equipment data to ensure that the savings projections we provide are as accurate as possible. This enables us to provide much more customized and comprehensive savings estimates than a salesperson or online calculator can.

    Dan: Once your project or upgrade is underway, you can count on our support throughout the process from your customer-support specialist. He or she will help guide you through the process of working with your contractors and equipment suppliers to ensure that the outcome meets your expectations. Think of the customer-support specialist as your own personal energy consultant from beginning to end.

    Paul: Finally, I should mention financial assistance. We offer incentives for certain recommended equipment and building-insulation upgrades. Your customer-support specialist will be familiar with all of them. They can help you find which ones are available for the work you’re doing, and even help you apply for them. If the initial cost of an upgrade is still a barrier, we can help you secure a Business Energy Loan through our partnership with a local financial institution. If you’re replacing older, less-efficient equipment, your upgrade can happen with very little or no upfront investment. Your energy savings will often more than cover the cost of your monthly loan payments.

    Dan: That means you can start driving up profits right away. Of course, the first step is to figure out where the opportunities for savings are, so give us a call at 1.888.921.5990, and we’ll help you get started.

    Learn more: Do you have a project in mind or a question about energy usage in your business? Visit us online at www.efficiencyvermont.com/energysolutions.

    About Efficiency Vermont: Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and help all Vermonters reduce energy costs.

    The columnists are business energy experts Paul Lambert and Dan Mellinger. v
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